I need an application that my shipping department can use to QUICKLY:
- Pull up orders from our databases
- Auto-populate the ship-to address
- Allow the user to select a shipping method (example: FedEx Overnight, UPS Ground Commercial, US Postal Service Priority Flat Rate Medium Box)
- Display shipping cost
- Generate Shipping label
- Write shipment details (ship date, tracking number, etc) back to my databases
The application should also allow the user the 'batch' import a mailing list (200 addresses, for example), perhaps specify some common criteria such as box dimensions, weight and ship method, and then print out all 200 shipping labels.
Labels MUST follow guidelines set forth by UPS, FedEx and US Postal Service. (With the exception of International shipments perhaps, all three providers allow shipping labels to be printed on one common 4-inch x 6-inch label printer).
Some additional information that might help you:
Currently, UPS, FedEx and US Postal Service each offer FREE Windows-based applications which allow me to easily ship packages using their services.
For example, with WorldShip Software from UPS, I can do the following:
- Place my package on a digital scale. )The scale is a USB device and the UPS software reads the weight from the scale) (Or, I can manually type in the package weight)
- Enter a ship-to address. (I enter it manually, or I can ask WorldShip to read it from a database).
- Select a shipping method
- Optionally Insure my package for a specific amount
- Generate a UPS shipping label. (I have a Zebra 4x6 thermal label printer)
The UPS WorldShip software also allows me to do things such as bill third party, create international shipments, track previous shipments, void shipments, validate/correct addresses, and run reports.
This software is provided for *FREE* from UPS.
The problem is, I am looking for *ONE* shipping solution that allows me to ship packages using *ALL THREE* carriers - UPS, FedEx and US Postal Service.
So I'm looking for a program that is like a combination of UPS WorldShip, FedEx Ship Manager, and USPS [url removed, login to view]
On the back end, I have 2 SQL-Based MIS programs in which we accept and keep track of orders. The database contains order information including ship-to addresses.
This custom shipping solution should allow the user to scan a barcode (or enter a shipment number), and the shipping details (ship-to address, ship method, etc) should automatically be retrieved from the appropriate MIS program. Furthermore, AFTER the package has shipped, the shipment details (ship date, ship method, package weight, number of packages, tracking number(s), cost, etc) need to be written BACK to the MIS program.
This shipping solution needs to be the 'central' hub where ALL of my shipments are processed.
The shipping solution should include a table of all known shipping methods (USPS Medium Flat-Rate Box, UPS 2-Day Air, FedEx Standard Overnight, etc).
The shipping solution should be able to validate and correct addresses on the fly. We should not be able to ship packages to invalid addresses. I believe the US Postal Service has an address database which can be purchased. Or there may be other methods of address verification and cleansing.
- The shipping solution should allow the user to MANUALLY enter a shipment.
- The shipping solution should also allow users to import an Excel or CSV file for batch shipments (as described above)
- The shipping solution should be allowed to use several FedEx and UPS Accounts. When shipping a package, the user should be able to select the account to ship FROM.
- The software should be password protected at three levels:
- Level 1 Users can log in and search only. (Useful for customer service reps who simply need to look up order shipment info)
- Level 2 Users can also search, but can also ship packages, void packages, and run reports.
- Level 3 Users (Admins) have access to all program features.
The software should be written as a WINDOWS application (for high-demand situations where we need to generate many shipments in the fastest, most efficient way) and ALSO as a BROWSER-BASED application (for occasional shipments, reporting, searching, and other low-demand occasions)
Either interface should allow users to search for shipments by shipment number, name, city, etc. (Basically, user should be able to search by any field(s) by entering criteria. For example: 'Show me all shipments for order #132354' or 'Show me all shipments where city=Miami and carrier=FedEx')
The Windows app should be very quick and responsive to the user, since the shipping department is very busy. The app needs to be installed on multiple Windows workstations. (XP and Windows 7 compatibility).
The software should receive input from a digital (USB) scale, a standard USB Keyboard, a USB mouse, and a USB Barcode reader. The software should be able to direct output to multiple printers based on the type of 'report'. (In the options screen, the Admin should be able to choose a specific printer as the 'label' printer, and another printer (like a standard 8.5 x 11 laser printer) as the 'report' printer. This way, labels automatically print to the label printer, and reports automatically print to a laser printer). (The printers will be Windows printers)
PROGRAMMING REQUIREMENTS: Must be created using Visual Studio, .NET Framework (3.5 or higher), and C#
NO VB or other languages - C# is a must
The browser-based portion of this app should be written in ASP.NET, again using C#.
I believe each of the carriers (UPS, FedEx and US Postal Service) offer developer tools (APIs, Web Services, Documentation, etc).
IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT THIS APPLICATION FOLLOW ALL GUIDELINES SET FORTH BY THE CARRIERS. The shipping solution will be worthless if packages get declined or returned by the carrier due to guidelines not being followed.
IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN BIDDING ON THIS PROJECT, PLEASE MAKE SURE:
1. YOU ARE VERY KNOWLEDGEABLE OF MICROSOFT .NET, C#, ASP.NET, SQL AND VISUAL STUDIO
2. YOU ARE COMPETENT, EFFICIENT, AND ABLE TO MEET AT REGULAR INTERVALS (SKYPE, IM/CHAT) TO DISCUSS THE PROJECT
3. YOU SPEAK FLUENT ENGLISH
4. YOUR CODE IS CLEAN, WELL-WRITTEN AND DOCUMENTED
5. YOU FULLY UNDERSTAND THE SCOPE OF WORK
6. YOU ARE FAMILIAR WITH WEB SERVICES AND APIs
7. YOU ARE ABLE TO STUDY, OBTAIN AND IMPLEMENT THE TOOLS OFFERED BY EACH SHIPPING PROVIDER (CARRIER) AND HAVE THE ABILITY TO PROPERLY IMPLEMENT SUCH TOOLS AND ADHERE TO THEIR SPECIFICATIONS
8. YOU ARE AVAILABLE (IF NECESSARY) FOR FUTURE UPDATES TO THE SOFTWARE
One more thing to mention ... it is expected that any/all of the carriers will make changes to their requirements from time to time. So it is VERY important that the work you do is documented and well-written in the event that I (or someone else) need to make changes to your code.
Please feel free to reply via PMB with any additional questions you may have.
I am looking to start this project right away. Please do not bid if you do not meet the requirements or if you think this will be a simple project.
If you have any past experience working with carriers (FedEx, UPS, and/or the US Postal Service) please let me know.